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Family Matters No. 75 - September 2006

Family law update

Abstract

The role of Indigenous Family Liaison Officers in the Family Court of Australia is described which includes working with Indigenous families, supporting independent children's lawyers, providing information about the structure of the Indigenous family and the significant people in a given case, providing links to appropriate cultural advisors and elders, planning and delivering information sessions for Indigenous community members, and facilitating cultural diversity training sessions for Family Court staff.

The role of Indigenous Family Liaison Officers in the Family Court of Australia 

Josephine Akee

The role of Indigenous Family Liaison Officers in the Family Court of Australia is described which includes working with Indigenous families, supporting independent children's lawyers, providing information about the structure of the Indigenous family and the significant people in a given case, providing links to appropriate cultural advisors and elders, planning and delivering information sessions for Indigenous community members, and facilitating cultural diversity training sessions for Family Court staff.

Recent initiatives in family law and implications for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Families

Stephen Ralph

In response to a report by the Family Law Pathways Advisory Group 2001 report titled "Out of the maze" the Commonwealth government has introduced a number of new initiatives targeting the needs of Indigenous families. These include the Family Relationship Centres established in 2006 that are required to provide flexible, culturally sensitive and accessible services to Indigenous families in their locations. Of the first fifteen centres established four have been allocated funding to provide outreach services to Indigenous families in Darwin, Townsville Lismore and Mildura. Other initiatives outlined in the article are the expansion of Family Violence Prevention Legal Services in rural and remote areas, and recent amendments to the Family Law Act that have made significant changes to the way the court considers Indigenous cultural issues in children's cases.

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